6/10/14
Wise Guys: My Girlfriend Says Porn Is a Dealbreaker, Is She Right?

photo via flickr

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: “What do you do if your girlfriend, whom you love very much, doesn’t understand why you like and watch porn occasionally: she’s intellectually and viscerally opposed to it, thinks it is a horrible industry that exploits people and perpetuates sexism and misogyny, and has suggested to me that it might be a deal breaker?”

Straight Single Guy (L.A. Chris): Well she has a point, but she doesn’t fully understand men if she makes that a deal breaker. (Good luck finding a man who doesn’t like porn; it’s hard enough to find one that doesn’t like sports!) Some porn is perfectly healthy, and if a guy can’t explain that convincingly, or is too afraid to put his foot down, then he should throw in the towel and throw away his stash. That’s not to say he can’t dabble now and again, but he should stay away from the Brazilian fart porn and Japanese girls exchanging bodily fluids just in case.

Straight Married Guy (Fred): Keep it a secret from her!  Okay, you could try to explain that it has nothing to do with her, that she’s not in any competition with it, that it’s a normal and unavoidable part of being a guy, and that she’ll never find any guy who doesn’t look at porn from time to time… or you could just make it a private thing.  Don’t talk about it and definitely don’t let her see any signs of it.  Ignorance is bliss. If you’re feeling lucky, you could also point out her relationship with shoes (or women’s magazines, or whatever) and say that you’re viscerally opposed to it, think it is a horrible industry that exploits people and perpetuates sexism and misogyny, and suggest that it might be a deal breaker.

Gay Commited Guy (Terence): First thing you do is hide. Hide everything. If you’ve got magazines, burn ’em cause no one uses them anymore anyway. Then remember to clear your cache and history after you get your rocks off online. Don’t get rid of every site you visited that day, just the porn sites. She’ll never know… I say this because you should never change something about yourself for someone else. It’s like quitting smoking for someone else; it rings empty and isn’t terribly successful. Your question doesn’t even hint that you have a problem with porn. So if that’s the case, then I think your only option is to hide your porn and slowly, over the years, bring her to understand that your porn is not her problem.

MORE LIKE THIS ON EMandLO.com:

Our “wise guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week they’re all a little shy.

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8 Comments on "Wise Guys: My Girlfriend Says Porn Is a Dealbreaker, Is She Right?"

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misspiggy
misspiggy
2 years 2 months ago
I think the guy should talk it through with his girlfriend and find out if her issue is with the ethics of porn production, or the whole concept of porn itself. If it’s the former, she needs to educate herself, starting with a thorough read of Stoya’s Tumblr. There is plenty of porn, and plenty of areas of the porn industry, which are not misogynistic. It may be possible for the boyfriend and girlfriend to agree some parameters for porn which does actually meet her feminist standards. If it’s the latter – she’s grossed out by the idea of porn… Read more »
Tony
Tony
2 years 3 months ago
I like Nikki’s answer best. Frankly, I don’t believe that your girlfriend should be able to dictate whether or not you watch porn. Most men watch porn. If it’s affecting your sex life with her, or you’re addicted, then that’s where the problem is and you discuss it like equal adults. As it stands, however, her request is completely unreasonable in my opinion. Let’s flip her demand around – what if you told her that vibrators were something that you “intellectually and viscerally” opposed and that it was a potential deal breaker? I realize that vibrators lack the misogyny/exploitation/objectification points,… Read more »
Johnny
Johnny
2 years 3 months ago

I guess I just feel that the best relationships are the ones where there are no “deal breakers” of a mundane nature. Sure, I’d dump my girl if she murdered someone; I might or might not dump her if she cheated on me, depending on the circumstances. But short of that? She can do whatever she wants and so can I.

Johnny
Johnny
2 years 3 months ago
I think the girlfriend is right – there’s some immorality to be found in almost all porn. All of it is exploitative. Some of it is overtly misogynistic. Many of us can dissociate ourselves from the fact that what the young woman is doing on screen is pretty fucked up, in reality, and just have a wank. I get that not everyone feels that way. I’m not arguing against her personal feelings, I’m arguing against her course of action. Here’s what she can do about it: 1. Not consume porn 2. Not date a guy who consumes porn (good luck… Read more »
Em & Lo
Em and Lo
2 years 3 months ago

Johnny, we love your distinction between something that is merely gross, and something that is morally wrong. But what if this girlfriend in question does, in fact, find the kind of porn her boyfriend watches morally wrong? What if she finds the kind of porn he watches to be deeply misogynist in a way that offends her to the moral core? Just playing devil’s advocate here, but we’re wondering if there’s any porn besides the illegal kind that you would classify as “immoral”?

Johnny
Johnny
2 years 3 months ago

… oh, except kid porn. People get to tell you not to whack off to kid porn. Animals too, sort of. But not poo. Poo is the grossest fetish I can think of, yet not morally wrong.

Johnny
Johnny
2 years 3 months ago
Hide the porn? Like you did from your mom when you were a teenager? Are you guys serious? First of all, once that Mom situation sets in – where she starts telling you what you can and can’t do, when you start living in fear of scoldings, when she punishes you for defying her – your relationship is doomed anyway. If she makes a grab for your balls and you just hand them right over, she’ll lose all respect for you. Women hate that shit. Why do they initiate it if they hate it? Well, that’s one of nature’s great… Read more »
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